By Franny Billingsley
(Dial, Hardcover, 9780803735521, 368pp.)
Publication Date: March 17, 2011
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.
Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.
Franny Billingsley lives in Highland Park, Illinois. Her middle-grade novel Well- Wished was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. And her next middle-grade novel The Folk Keeper received the Boston GlobeDHorn Book award for fiction, was an ALA Notable, and a School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon book. This is her first young adult novel.
"Part mystery, part fantasy, this beautifully-written page turner explores guilt, mercy, and love." -Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of Tithe and Ironside